Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Child; Environment; Learning; Mental Processes; Students
A school classroom is the place where students are expected to complete the majority of their learning. Many classrooms have a large amount of distracting sensory stimuli such as bright lights, visual stimuli on the walls, noises from individuals within the room, and sensory rich learning experiences. The physical environment can affect children's learning and attention (Miller-Kuhaneck & Kelleher, 2015). Based on an in-depth literature review, it has been found that certain components of the classroom can be altered to create an environment more inclusive for all children, regardless of abilities. In light of the push to keep children in the least restrictive environment, it is anticipated that the following findings and product guide will promote inclusion within classrooms through accommodation of a wide range of sensory preferences. This can be done through the use of intervention strategies from the Ecology of Human Performance (EHP) model, such as create and prevent. The product guide addresses the gap between occupational therapists’ knowledge of sensory strategies and teachers’ knowledge of student behaviors and classroom design. It is important for teachers and occupational therapists to work together to determine and overcome the contextual barriers in keeping children in their least restrictive environment.
Bertsch, Bobbie and Browen, Kylie, "Creating a Sensory Inclusive Classroom: A Guide for Teachers" (2019). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 403.